#1. Landfills are air tight, so textiles take longer to break down. Polyester, spandex, nylon, and rayon are all considered non-biodegradable fabrics. They may eventually decompose…in 20-200 years. Whether purse or shoes, consider thrift stores a point of contact to help reduce consumption.
#2. Thrifting supports human rights. Worker rights, including labor laws, (working conditions, wages, age requirements, hours worked etc) are not well monitored in areas where apparel is mass-produced. The Bangledeshi Textile Factory Disaster highlights the dangers faced by workers, the majority being women, in the clothing industry. Even if labor laws exist, they are not complied with.
#3. Buying used helps pad your wallet! Thrfiting is far more affordable than new clothes of comparable quality. Think about the cost when layering look; shopping second-hand means you only spend fraction of the cost.
#4. Thrift shopping saves the environment. From transporting raw materials to production processes, clothing manufacturing requires a lof of energy. The energy that goes into finished clothing getting to retail stores, and the disposal of unwanted materials…all can be preserved with a lesser demand for new clothes.
#5. Want to have unique, one-of-a-kind style? THINK THRIFT! It’s highly unlikely that anyone else is walking around in the same clothes as you. Don’t fit in with the modern trends? No problem. Vintage and thrift go hand-in-hand.
#6. Chemical pollution decreases. Cotton production is pesticide-intensive. Water contamination and soil solidification are common because harmful dyes and crude oil by-products are often dumped into areas surrounding factories.
#7. Landfill waste decreases: Americans throw out 60-80 pounds of textile waste annually. Almost 100% of textiles can be recycled, yet 85% ends up in landfills. Even “natural” textiles like towels, teeshirts, and rags take a long time to break down. Don’t fill the ‘fill!
#8. It even helps with plastic reduction! Think about all the materials used with ordering online: shipping, un-boxing, returning, repacking. Packaging materials are preserved, keeping plastic, paper, and metal out of the waste stream.
#9. Because shopping in the world of one-of-a-kinds is generally more time consuming, it makes you reconsider what you are buying. Latest trends, almost never produced in high sustainable quality, are frequently bought impulsively then worn once, if once, before the feeling of “new & satisfying” fade away.
#10. The average American woman spends $1,000-$2,000 on clothing each year, but only wears 25% of what’s in her closet. Save yourself some money, time, and closet-guilt! Consider taking time to thrift and rethrift.
#11. You can feel good about donating because it gives back to your community. The money raised from sales at not-for-profits goes back to the wages and community programming associated with the various organizations. With best intentions in mind, research before you donate.
#12. Thrifting can MAKE you money! New and upcoming resale platforms make it easy to swap your crowded closet for cold cash! Familiarizing yourself with vintage and even at-home closet purging can inspire you to create your very own resale business. Consider the resale value of what you buy.